Do you have business proposals to pitch to investors or are you looking for a way to showcase your brand to potential customers? You’ll need a winning pitch deck.
A pitch deck (or, marketing presentation) is used to present a short and impactful overview of your business. It requires compelling copy that clarifies your business proposition, which should be complemented with captivating design.
“Design is very important for getting your message across – it’s conceptual thinking, presentation and user experience. It also gives a business personality”, says Thomas Richards, founder of strategy and funding firm, Parallel.
Follow our 6-step checklist to create a business-winning pitch deck design…
1. Stay loyal to your brand
The starting point of your pitch deck design should always be your brand. Before your blank canvas even starts to look appealing, you need to consider whether the design will follow your brand aesthetics or those of the potential investor or client. Or, you may want to reflect both brands together and make the deck a hybrid of the two.
A brand covers everything from the look and feel, to narrative and tone of voice – and this is what needs to be reflected in your deck, to improve the overall delivery of your pitch and position your business clearly and powerfully.
2. Create a visually compelling story
It’s true that people are more stimulated by visuals than text. And that’s why it’s so important to include compelling visuals within your winning pitch deck. Instead of using copy to fill a page, you should try using an image or graphics instead. It looks slick, professional and adds a simple yet effective design element to your deck.
Whether you choose to use stock imagery or graphics, raw images of your products or professional photographs of your staff, make sure to spend time thinking about how you want to portray your business to your target audience – and stay away from blurred or pixelated images. Not cool.
3. Stick to the Rule of Thirds
This term is one you might have heard of – the Rule of Thirds is commonly used in the world of design by photographers, graphic designers and artists. And you should follow these guidelines within your pitch deck.
Put simply, the Rule of Thirds means dividing your document into three equal sections that can be used as a guide to “align images and text in a way that creates balance and is in line with how the viewer’s eye naturally scans the field.” (careerfoundry.com). Not only this, you can use it as a guide to help layout your visual assets and increase white space for enhanced readability.
4. Use simple, impactful statements
The aim of sending a pitch deck to a potential investor or client is to capture their attention and prompt a phone call or meeting to further pitch your proposition. So, there’s no need to explain every single aspect of your business at this point in the process.
Using simple, impactful statements means you can get the message across in a captivating way without overwhelming your audience. As an extra tip, make sure to follow up on your statements with some hard evidence – that way you’ll hit them with double the impact.
What do you think of the first pitch deck by $20 billion company, Airbnb, that was used to raise $620k back in 2008?
5. Showcase stand-out statistics
Spice up your statistics by incorporating them into visual aids, like graphics and icons, to add some personality into your pitch deck. Before you start, identify which impressive market stats, sales figures or financial projections are going to make your proposal more credible and appealing to your recipient.
Remember how we said to create a visually compelling story? This fits into that too. Your visual aids should marry up with the imagery you use throughout your pitch deck and they should emphasise statistics that really sell your business proposition.
6. Keep it short & sweet
Wondering how many slides your pitch deck should include? It does depend on your industry, business and the magnitude of your idea, but as a general rule you should aim for anywhere between 10-14 slides.
If you need to cover a bit more information, like Uber co-founder Garrett Camp – who shared the company’s first pitch deck from 2008 that was a staggering 25 slides – don’t worry. This clearly worked for him. Just make sure to switch up the layout of the slides and add creative visual aids to keep your audience engaged.